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Heat Awareness

Be Ready for Hot Weather

Heat is the number one weather-related killer in the U.S. and, in a normal year, more people die from heat-related illness than from floods, lightning, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined.

Even if it doesn’t seem hot outside, the temperature on the inside of a vehicle can climb very quickly. The temperature can rise as much as 20 degrees in only 10 minutes. Leaving the windows cracked won’t do much of anything to keep the inside of the car cool. Make sure when you leave your vehicle for any period of time that no children or pets are still inside. Beat the heat – check the backseat!

Some basic things to remember when the mercury rises:

  • Be aware of the signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
    • Heat Exhaustion symptoms include heavy swearing, cold, pale and clammy skin, nausea or vomiting, muscle cramps, headache or fainting.
    • Heat Stroke symptoms are high body temperature, hot, red, dry skin, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, nausea or confusion.
  • Drink plenty of water, regularly.
  • Limit intake of alcohol.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Avoid too much sunshine, and use a sunscreen high in SPF.
  • Reduce, eliminate, or reschedule strenuous activities.
  • Try to avoid being outdoors in the hottest portion of the day: 11AM-4PM.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. If air conditioning is not available, stay out of the sunshine on the lowest floor.

In Iowa, it gets hot in the summertime. Sometimes, very hot. Doing too much on a hot day, spending too much time in the sun or staying too long in an overheated place can cause heat-related illnesses. Heat kills by pushing the human body beyond its limits. In extreme heat and high humidity, evaporation is slowed and the body must work extra hard to maintain a normal temperature.

Conditions that can induce heat-related illnesses include stagnant atmospheric conditions and poor air quality. Consequently, people living in urban areas may be at greater risk from the effects of a prolonged heat wave than those living in rural areas. Also, asphalt and concrete store heat longer and gradually release heat at night, which can produce higher nighttime temperatures.

The best defense against heat-related illnesses is prevention. You can be prepared by knowing the symptoms of heat disorders and overexposure to the sun, and being ready to give first aid treatment.

Learn more by checking out this heat brochure.


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